We all start out somewhere, and students who are to lead start out as a student teacher to gain as much knowledge and foresight as they can before graduating to teach on their own.
Student teachers have a major that is out of the ordinary in that they get to spend their last semester smack in the middle of the field where they hope to obtain a job.
Besides getting firsthand experience in what they will be doing on a day-to-day basis in their field, all level student teachers are able to explore their teaching spectrum from elementary school, middle school and up to high school.
Senior exercise sport science major Logan Chaney said, “They say you should start writing a book when you start student teaching, and you really should because it’s just the one-liners, the stuff kids say it just catches you off- guard and it cracks you up, and that’s every day.”
Chaney is currently student teaching at Belton Middle School and similar to many other student teachers, he is pleased to be gaining confidence and a feeling of comfort in the environment where he hopes to be working one day soon.
Department Chair of Education and Director of Field Experiences Carolyn Owens said, “Our role is to prepare them so that they have experienced as much as we can prepare them for concerning what they’re going to see once they start teaching on their own, so they’re comfortable that they know how to do that and they’re ready to start.”
Recent chatter about teaching jobs being scarce has some aspiring teachers feeling concerned about searching for jobs.
Assistant Professor of education, Dr. Joan Berry does not think the job market is in any more peril than other professions in today’s economy.
“We see things cycle in and out. I think that the teaching profession will probably be a good field over the next few years. I realize that the last couple of years we had districts that were in financial distress, and so it looked like we weren’t going to have as big of a market for teachers.
Berry explains why there will be more availability offered to student teachers.
She said, “What’s happening is that the baby boomers are retiring, and they’re starting now to retire in greater numbers.”
Alumnus exercise sport science major Ryan Tamez moved to Fort Worth after graduating to have a better chance at finding teaching jobs.
“After I finished student teaching, I have been experiencing some problems getting a job but the odds of finding a job are in my favor.
Chaney thoroughly enjoys student teaching.
He said, “I’m a teacher/coach and I feel like the life lessons you learn that you can make applicable through sports and physical education, they really can change someone’s life. I look back to some of the bigger milestones in my life, even with a great dad; coaches and teachers influenced my decisions greatly … There are so many students who just need good male role models right now, and I enjoy it so it works for me.”